“I’m being told that that bridge was given a rating of poor, which obviously means to be replaced as soon as possible, so that’s why we are where we are today,” said Sgt. Robert Derry of the CT State Police.
Where we are is the start of two weekends of closing all lanes of I-95 in both directions under that bridge near Exit 9. It will be closed for two weekends this summer to replace a two-span bridge that carries Route 1 (East Main Street) over I-95.
The construction will take place on the following weekends: May 31–June 3 & June 7–June 10. The project begins with demolition of half the bridge this Friday night.
“The debris has to be cleaned out and then the new span, span 2, which is the northbound lane spans, will be lifted up and slid into place,” explained Lou Eveno, the Dept. of Transportation project manager.
Yes, the replacement bridge is already built. It sits in two pieces next to I-95 at exit 9. In a process known as Accelerated Bridge Construction, or ABC, they are moving the 800-ton spans using Self-Propelled Modulating Transport.
“They’re interconnectable. They can be put together side by side or in a train like you see here, and there’s 26 axles all together,” said Eveno. “The wheels articulate 180 degrees, so steering is very accurate.”
WEB EXTRA: News 8’s Kent Pierce walks you through the project
The project is said to be wrapped up by Monday, June 10.
“We are using an innovative construction method that will limit detours to two weekends,” Deputy Transportation Commissioner Anna Barry said. “If traditional construction methods were used on this project, motorists would face delays for two years. It’s exciting that our department and state are using modern and cost-effective construction methods to rebuild infrastructure while minimizing overall impacts to motorists and business.”
“It’s two weekends of a migraine headache versus two to three years of a dull pain,” said Eveno.
That migraine will be lessened by reconfiguring the ramps at exit 9, so traffic will be forced off I-95, but then be directed right back onto the on-ramps, with two lanes of traffic in each direction. That will be the pattern from Friday night at 11 to early Monday morning. Normally, the advice would be to take Route 1 instead of I-95, but the bridge being replaced is route one, so that will be closed, too.
Police ask to avoid driving through Stamford this weekend and the next.
“We ask people just to be patient, take their time, and if they can stay away from that area, that’s great,” said Sgt. Derry.
For additional information and updates on the project, click here.
To watch a live stream of the construction, click here.
WEB EXTRA: News 8’s on scene of the construction project:
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